The AFCA polls moved the Lions up one notch and the quality of the win Saturday was a big reason for that. The last thing the Lions needed was a sloppy or uninspired win, and the coaching staff had this group prepared. That being said, another convincing win this week is something that must happen right before regional rankings come out. (I apologize for saying the first set comes out this weekend, thanks to Brock Calloway for the correct info.)
Angelo is really having a tough season. They currently sit at 3-3 overall, but are 1-3 in LSC play. The Rams defeated TAMU-Kingsville, but lost in close games to Eastern New Mexico, Tarleton State, and Midwestern. The Rams are not a bad team by any stretch of the imagination, they have been having trouble finishing games and that is mainly due to youth, but expect them to be competitive.
With this being in Commerce, expect this to be a game that the Lions need to win convincingly in order to have a chance to jump in the polls. Right now there are only Midwestern State, Minnesota State, and Central Washington that are ahead of the Lions. The games to watch will be these 3 teams and how they fare against their competition.
Angelo is led on offense by running backs Josh Stevens and Tyrese Nathan, both of whom are impressive running backs. Together they have run for almost 1,000 yards and when ASU runs the ball, they are very good at it. The offensive line is a pretty impressive group when it comes to run blocking. The passing game is nothing super impressive, but they have some fast wideouts, as we saw last year.
This game will come down to execution, like the past games have. The games with Angelo since Colby Carthel arrived have been close in exciting with the exception of last year’s 62-14 win. The Rams took down the Lions in 2013 25-20, the Lions beat the Rams in their first meeting in 2014 41-40 and then lost in the LSC Playoff Championship game to the Rams 35-33. The Lions have won 2 straight since 2015, winning 38-35 that year and winning big time last year. It will be about getting separation from the Rams to start the game and finishing and simply playing the game better and tougher than they do.